The choice of Lionel Messi as the winner of the record seventh Golden Ball caused controversy in the football world and started a serious discussion on the topic of whether the traditional award in the selection of France Football actually lost all meaning.
While the football public is still talking about who deserved the most prestigious individual recognition, Lionel Messi opened his soul in a conversation for a renowned French magazine and, among other things, said that he would not "consider himself the best in history", although from Monday night ...
"Honestly, I have never considered myself the best in history, nor do I want to be seen that way. For me, the very thought that people consider me one of the best in history is enough." "I could never have imagined something like that, and I'm not too interested, because it doesn't change anything in me, in any direction.
I never wanted to be the best," said Messi. Also, he doesn't know if he is an example to others as a football phenomenon ... "I don't really know, I never liked to be someone's role model or share advice.
I have always fought for my dreams. First, to be a professional player, then to fight for my progress and achieve various goals." "In such moments, you also need a little luck, so I am grateful to God for guiding me on the right path.
" What is Lionel Messi like in private? "I behave completely normally when I am in the circle of people I trust, friends, family. I'm a little more shy when I go out of that circle, it's just hard for me to feel free and I need more time to feel more comfortable."
"But for the people around me, I am a completely normal person, always in a good mood and I try to enjoy every moment. " After winning the Copa America, Messi is increasingly compared to Diego Maradona, although he still lacks the most important representative trophy of all - the Goddess.
"No, no, I've never compared myself to Diego, absolutely never. I never paid attention to comparisons by other people. Some criticisms have been hard for me in the past." "I went through a lot of bad moments in the national team and I was annoyed by the criticism at that level.
But, then, as a locker room, we learned to go through everything together, to solve problems in our group, which further strengthened us." "Even when we swear at each other or quarrel, it will help us to be even better later.
It's just a sport. " Is it easy to be Messi's teammate? "That's what you need to ask others (laughs). I don't know if it's easy or not. Those who know me know what I am like. Who doesn't know me, gets to know me a little, a little."
"It's much harder for me with my younger teammates because of the image they have of me, but when they understand what I am like, they soon relax. "
Position and freedom
How do you view freedom? "In the game, I have always liked to have the freedom to move where I want, not to respect the position as such.
All the coaches gave me that freedom, because they were aware that I could do more harm to the opponent." "Off the field, absolute freedom is the time I spend with my wife, children and we enjoy our time. The only obligation I have in my life is results and precision.
" And what is your position on the field now? "To move between the lines, but everything depends on the game. Even when I start to the right, I usually quickly move closer to the attack. Now I'm pulling more towards the middle to pick up more balls and distribute them forward, to gain superiority in the game and control the ball.
" How long does it take before you talk to someone when your team is defeated? "It is different now. Since I have children, when I get home, it helps me a lot to be able to be with them. Before them, when we were just Antonella and I, I spent a lot of time alone, in isolation, because I didn't want to talk to anyone." "I grew up with a feeling of hatred for defeat. I always wanted to win, so it is now.